Science Technology

TSMC also squeezes toothpaste?

Since the chip entered 5nm in 2020, many people have been at the next node, namely 3nm.
According to TSMC and Samsung, the 3nm process will be realized in 2022, but it is still unknown whether it can really be realized. For example, Samsung and TSMC have not much spectrum in mind.
For example, TSMC said that the 3nm process is more difficult than expected. At 3nm, each wafer will have about 30-35 EUV exposures, and the monthly delivery is very small. It is expected that only 15000 12-inch wafers will be produced each month in the early stage. Based on the attitude of being responsible to users, the specific delivery may be delayed for several months, perhaps until 2023.
TSMC also squeezes toothpaste? Another N4X process
As for Samsung, although it has always said that it will deliver as scheduled, it is speculated that because Samsung said it will adopt GAA transistor technology, it may not really be delivered in mass production in 2022. Even if it is delivered in mass production, the yield and specific performance are still to be observed.
However, the delayed delivery of 3nm is also a troublesome matter for TSMC and Samsung, so what should we do? So TSMC also squeezed toothpaste at 5nm, and launched N kinds of 5nm process, which improved a little each time.
TSMC also squeezes toothpaste? Another N4X process
The first is N5, which is the process of Kirin 9000 and A14. Later, the N5P process was introduced, which was said to be an enhanced version of the 5nm process. Compared with the N5 process, the improvement was not significant.
Later, it was thought that the name N5 was still 5nm, so it was renamed N4, which made people think it was 4nm. But in fact, N4 was also 5nm technology, but the transistor density was a little higher.
There are two versions of N4 technology, N4 and N4P. N4X may be familiar to you. MediaTek 9000 has been used, while N4P is the enhanced version of N4, and the transistor density has been increased a little.
TSMC also squeezes toothpaste? Another N4X process
If you think N4P is over, then you are wrong. Recently, TSMC announced that it will launch N4X process. Don’t think it is 4nm, but it is actually 5nm family process. TSMC said that N4X will represent the highest performance and maximum frequency of 5nm family.
TSMC said that the performance of N4X is 15% higher than that of N5. Compared with the N4P, the performance at 1.2V is also improved by 4%, and the N4X will enter trial production in the first half of 2023, that is, it will be produced at the same time with 3nm.
Why should TSMC promote N4X? It’s not to squeeze toothpaste. When 3nm came out, the production capacity was not high, the yield estimate was not high, and the cost was also high. So it’s a marketing gimmick to promote more N4 series for customers to choose.